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SDG&E asks customers to conserve energy to help regions hit by polar vortex

Posted at 4:54 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 19:56:58-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Gas & Electric asked customers on Thursday to conserve energy in order to help central and southern regions of the country facing gas shortages due to severe winter weather.

The company said the resulting impact on natural gas supplies around the nation has prompted a voluntary call for conservation in California. Conservation will help alleviate pressure on the national electric grid, which relies on natural gas to generate electricity, SDG&E said.

Most of the gas supply that SDG&E and SoCalGas, Southern California's main natural gas distributor, use is sourced from the Permian Basin in Texas. SoCalGas' primary pipeline operator started experiencing "significant" supply losses on Feb. 14, as record cold temperatures froze natural gas infrastructure, according to the company.


"SDG&E and other California utilities have joined the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages much of the state’s electric transmission system, to urge residents to voluntarily reduce electric and gas usage," a company release said. "This would help others across the country who are experiencing power outages and extreme cold amid rising energy demand and low supplies."

The severe winter weather hitting many parts of the country is expected to last through most of this week.

CAISO has said that California's grid conditions are good and it's not expecting any service disruptions due to the weather elsewhere in the country.

To help, SDG&E recommends using cold water more often, lowering thermostats, unplugging small appliances and electronics when not in use, taking shorter showers, and streaming media on smaller screens to reduce energy consumption.